As soon as we received the 2013 Fall schedule book last week, I had a sudden realization: my senior year is just around the corner. After the numerous all-nighters I have under my belt, I can honestly say that I am looking forward to graduation. By the same token, I am deeply saddened.

Of course, the relationships I have formed here on the Hill are one of the biggest reasons I am not completely ready to leave. But the main reason I am saddened is because there are so many courses I still want to take here at Denison, but can no longer fit in my schedule in my remaining two semesters.

I can still remember my first semester as a freshmen year. I did not have the best advisor and ended up taking a combination of courses which I thought would be fun, like, Computer Science and French. To a certain extent I enjoyed those classes, but taking Computer Science and French at the same time was not a good mix, since both classes are very time consuming. It was a rough semester to say the least.

I did not learn from my mistakes going into the second semester I thought that taking some upper-level classes that met only on Tuesdays and Thursdays would give me an amazing, relaxing semester. That experience ended up being the complete opposite. I can recall having to work ten times harder to make sure that I stayed on track with my classes.

Going into Sophomore year, I took courses that were relatively easier (which I think that there is no easy class at Denison). I had a more balanced schedule, but I did not feel as challenged as I could have been. I could have technically taken more challenging classes to fulfill the same requirements, but I was traumatized by the workload that I had Freshman year that I prefered to take classes that I knew would essentially demand a little less from me.

Reflecting on my own experience and observing the decision making process that some of my friends constantly undertake to choose their classes , I am worried that many students on campus choose classes that will help them get through college instead of claiming their education.

I am not a perfect student by any means, but I believe that if we truly want to claim our education, we have to take those courses that will challenge us in ways that we never thought we could be challenged.

When I say challenging courses, I do not mean taking a 300-level course in Biology when you are already a Biology major. Yes, those classes are still important, but it is also important to take those classes that will challenge your ideology. Registering in those challenging courses is not enough; to truly take away something from the class we all need to immerse ourselves with the material.

With that said, remember to choose a balanced schedule to stay sane without sacrificing the challenging classes. If not, what is the point of investing $54,670/ year on a liberal arts education?